Novak Djokovic is preparing for the Wimbledon semi-final against Cameron Norrie, which will be held on Friday. His greatest rival, Rafael Nadal, no longer stands in the way of a 21st Grand Slam victory.
The Spanish second seed was forced to pull out before his last-four match against Nick Kyrgios with an abdominal injury.
Nadal’s withdrawal from the tournament deprived the tournament of a blockbuster semi-final against Kyrgios, which had been on the cards since the Australian beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third-round match.
Kyrgios will have an enforced break before the finals, while Djokovic, the top seed, can now see the path to a fourth consecutive Wimbledon title opening up before him.
The Serb had to return from two sets down against Italian 10th seed Jannik Sinner in his quarter-final.
Djokovic is on a 26-match winning streak at Wimbledon as he aims to draw level with Pete Sampras on seven titles at the All England Club, just one behind Roger Federer’s men’s record.
He is bidding to reach a record 32nd Grand Slam singles final, to be one ahead of Federer.
If he wins this title, he will reach 21 Grand Slam titles, moving past Federer and just one behind Nadal in the race to be crowned the greatest of all time.
British ninth seed Norrie had never advanced beyond the third round of a Grand Slam before Wimbledon 2022.
Novak Djokovic defeated Norrie in their previous meeting, braced for a partisan crowd.
Kyrios now does not have the chance to repeat his 2014 victory over Nadal at Wimbledon, which the Spaniard avenged five years later.
The Australian proceeded through his last-eight tournament against unseeded Chilean Cristian Garin in straight sets to set afoot at his first Grand Slam semi-final.
Kyrgios’s tournament is breathtaking shot-making but also his familiar rants on the court, including a demand that Tsitsipas will be disqualified from the championships for hitting a ball into the crowd.
The 40th-ranked player has been fined a total of $14,000, and he has the added distraction of a court appearance in Australia regarding the allegation of assault.
Kyrgios, who defeated Djokovic in both the meetings, will fancy his chances whoever he plays in the match on Sunday.